There hasn't been a Ram Gopal Varma release for some months.
Yes. But now comes "D", then my own directorial venture "Sarkar", followed by two more productions "My Wife's Murder" and "James". Too many productions were diluting my productivity. I wanted to get my act together before releasing more films. Hence the gap, which I hope will mean better films.
Does the audience want another gangster flick?
The genre has nothing to do with it. A film works not for its genre but on individual merit.
Two major gangster epics from your production company. Why a third?
I could do five more if I want. It isn't a question of doing a specific number of films from one genre. My films aren't based on backdrops but characters. "Satya" and "Company" were stark and real relationship films. "D" has a very focused plot. It's about one protagonist who's a throwback to the early (Amitabh) Bachchan era.
Randeep Hooda in "D" is almost like Mr Bachchan in "Deewaar". In a way "D" is my tribute to "Deewaar". I'd say audiences haven't seen a character like Randeep Hooda's since Nagarjuna's in my "Shiva" and Sunny Deol's in "Arjun".
In what way?
They're street fighters basically with a great instinct of moral rightness.
It's very unusual for a debutant director to make a gangster film.
Why do you believe that? Directors always give their best to their first film. Thereafter you stop being spontaneous. I've great confidence in Vishram Sawant. I met him at a photo studio a couple of years ago. I was very impressed by the way he had done up the place. Though he's a still photographer and not an interior decorator, when I was building my office I requested Vishram to do it up for me.
He agreed on one condition - I shouldn't interfere in anything that he does. "I know your cinema and I know your taste. Please leave it to me," he had said. I knew he would apply the same logic to directing a film.
Isn't that a big risk?
I trust people on instinct. Not that I'm an expert on judging talent. When I saw how well he had done up my office I felt it would be an honour for him to do a film for me. I never inquired about his experience. I never had any experience when I made my first film. The big fallacy in the film industry is that only the blessed get to make movies. Anyone who has a desire to tell a story can make a film.
Well, too bad. This interview is about my opinions. Not yours. Vishram Sawant surprised me. Maybe "D" doesn't have the serious intentions and intellectual motivations of my "Satya" or "Company", but the characters are much truer to life. In terms of editing pattern, sound and background music, he has completely surpassed "Satya" and "Company".
Why Randeep Hooda?
I saw Randeep's pictures long ago and was very impressed by his intensity, and intelligence. I was supposed to cast him in another film. That didn't materialise. Randeep is the only actor I know who can actually become a character.
Is his character based on Dawood Ibrahim?
Certainly not. It's a fictional character. Any real-like character on screen is bound to have some resemblance to an existent character. When I made "Jungle" everyone said Sushant Singh's character was based on Veerappan. Randeep's character is life-like but not biographical. I plan to cast him repeatedly. He can spawn a whole series of Hollywood-style thrillers.
She came to me to be cast in "Sarkar". I thought she had a screen presence. Then Vishram spotted her on the sets of "Sarkar" and wanted to cast her.
Your interest in your discoveries diminishes after the initial praise?
What can I do if they do the wrong films for money or whatever reasons? Then I lose interest in them. I wish they'd let me project them in the right way.
So between "Satya" and "Company", where does "D" fall?
I think Vishram has created a completely different take on the genre. "Satya" and "Company" were intense hard-hitting films. "D" doesn't take itself seriously. I'd say it's the most entertaining film I've produced. Filled with one-liners and massy elements... finally an entertaining film from Ram Gopal Varma.